How do I supervise friends at work?

Written on: 5 September 2019

Written by: Chloe Adamson



Becoming a manager for the first time means not only a shift in responsibilities but also a shift in team dynamics. Beginning to supervise members of staff that are also your friends can seem awkward at first, but these three top tips will help you approach the situation with maturity.

  1. Set boundaries

It’s important to set the tone for your management style. Be confident in your judgement and trust that your work friends will respect you as their manager. You shouldn’t stop being friendly and sociable, but you should leave private conversations outside of the workplace, or you’ll run the risk of making other members of your team feeling left out.

  1. Treat everyone fairly

While it can be tempting to use your new authority to help your friends out, favouritism is a huge no. Make sure that you’re providing similar opportunities for everyone to succeed, and split your attention equally between each member of your team.

  1. Don’t let emotions get in the way

There will be times in your role where you need to do things that feel uncomfortable, such as providing constructive feedback to your friends. You need to remember that you are doing your job and it is nothing personal. Your friends will support you every step along the way, so if in doubt, remain professional and make decisions that benefit your whole team.

For more management tips, download our Manager to Mentor Guide.

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